If you've seen enough Tom Cruise action movies you may have noticed a recurring element. The guy runs. He runs in movies a lot. You'd think Hollywood would have enough practice filming him running at this point that it'd be easy, but apparently, that's not the case. Filming a Tom Cruise running sequence can actually be difficult because it turns out the actor is super fast. Much faster than his co-stars.
It's really hard, whether you're on a little electric cart or on an insert car. In fact, it was important to us that [Cobie] be, not just his equal but maybe able to burn him a little bit. And Cobie is fast, but he's really fast. And a lot of times actors have to take a little bit of edge off to make that dolly shot work. But he had to look like he was going full out and yet not go too fast so that she could be rivaling him. So that was maybe some good acting.
Action movies tend to be looked down upon by movie critics, in large part due to the fact that there is less "acting" going on, but according to the director of Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, Edward Zwick, that's not the case. He tells Screen Crush that even when Tom Cruise is running he has to act, because he has to look like he's running at full speed, even though he apparently has to pull up a bit in order to run with Cobie Smulders.
With all the practice that Tom Cruise gets running in his movies, it's not really that surprising that he's fast. Eventually, if you do something often enough you can't help but be good at it. Although, it sounds like Cruise is even better than you might expect. Edward Zwick says that Cobie Smulders is pretty fast herself, but Cruise leaves her in the dust when he's going full tilt. That's pretty impressive.
The Tom Crusie running thing has become something of a joke, though Edward Zwick says he didn't realize how much Tom Cruise ran in films when he wrote Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Rather, he simply felt that a movie that has characters on the run, needed to include actual running.